Beyond the recent development of paleogenetic, the progresses in genetics and molecular biology in the last 30 years have drastically changed biology and thus the way we can understand the evolution of hominids, of human, our migrations, sociology and epidemics. It also opens a whole new range of evidence about the domestication of species, the modification of the environment, the interaction with the microbiome… This course is design to familiarise archaeologists with the existing tools to incorporate them critically in their future research projects.


With this 3-days course, participants should be able to:

  • Differentiate the technical steps: extraction, amplification, sequencing technologies, reconstruction, and comparisons.
  • Understand the levels genetic-genomic-metagenomic, their advantages and requisites.
  • Understand the different markers of genetic differentiation.
  • Being critical and constructive of archaeogenetic studies.
  • Ditinguish the different branches of genetics to identify where to find  more information.
  • When preparing an archaeological project, evaluate the potential of different genetic analyses.
  • Connect to experts in the field who can support future studies.


Dr. Hugo Oliveira, is an Associate Researcher at ICArEHB, University of Algarve (Portugal), investigating the origins and diffusion of farming.  He completed an MPhil and a PhD in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge (UK) investigating the spread of wheat cultivation in North Africa and Iberia. Since then, he has explored the domestication of rye (at IFM, Linköping University, Sweden), the diffusion of fava bean (CIBIO, University of Porto, Portugal) and used next-generation DNA sequencing methods to elucidate the domestication of emmer wheat (MIB, University of Manchester, UK) and lentil (ICArEHB, University of Algarve, Portugal). He is currently leading projects using genomic tools to investigate the domestication of legumes and poppies
Dr. Viviane Slon, is senior lecturer at the Tel-Aviv University (Israel), in the Departments of Anatomy and Anthropology and Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine. She conducted her doctoral and post-doctoral research on ancient DNA remnant from prehistoric and proto-historic populations at the Department of Evolutionary Genetics of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig, Germany). She received several prizes for her work that opened new door in our understanding of human evolution.
Dr. Robin Allaby is professor at Warwick University (United Kingdom), in the department of Life Sciences, where he conducts research with his team on the evolutionary dynamics associated with the plant domestication process on several levels of organization: the gene, the genome, the population and the selective environment in which the population exists. He utilizes genetic information directly from both archaeological and modern samples and develop bioinformatic approaches for high throughput analysis. Since his PhD (University of Manchester), his worked is marked by the balance and exchange between the theoretical approach of the bioinformatic and the empiric data from archaeology.
Dr. Maria João Martins, is an Associate Researcher at ICArEHB, University of Algarve. She is an evolutionary biologist by background (PhD at the University of Lisbon), with a keen interest on evolutionary processes such as sexual selection and reproductive strategies, drivers of micro- and macroevolutionary processes. She has a special focus on living and fossil ostracods to reconstruct the paleo-environments and its link with human evolution.
Dr. João C. Teixeira, (PhD Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology) is an ARC Research Associate at the University of Adelaide, Australia. He is a population geneticist focusing on the evolution of humans and closely related species, including demographic inference, comparative genomics and natural selection. He has a special interest in  admixture events between so-called modern and archaic humans and uncovering signatures of natural selection in the genome, in particular balancing selection, and continues to study how advantageous genetic diversity can be maintained for millions of years in natural populations.

Mode of training and location

The training will combine seminars, lectures, demonstrations, discussions, and practicals in wet lab and on the computer. The course is relatively intense and compact, it will be available only in presential in the facilities of the University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal.


From Tuesday, 17th of May 2022 at 9:00 until Thursday 19th of May 2022 at 18:00. Participants must be present for the whole three days.

Total hours

18 hours

Number of participants 

Maximum 15 participants.

The course is designed for confirmed archaeologists (faculty, post-docs, PhD students) with little background in molecular biology and genetics.

Registration fee 

Registration is free. No costs for practical labs.

Travel, accommodation, and subsistence costs are at the charge of the participants. See here for possibilities of accommodations.

Participants are invited to bring their laptop if they wish to run the bioinformatic practical’s in their own environment.

Interested participant should fill in the form below before the deadline. If more than 15 applications are received, selected participants will be invited in March and others will be on waiting list.


Deadline for application: 25 February 2022, 17:00 (Faro time).

Invitation to participation: March, April for those on waiting list.

Start of the course: 17th of May 2022 at 9:00.


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